Cars for sitters

Yes, that would definitely work. And thank you from the community for being such a thoughtful person.

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@ElsieDownie the more I think about your idea, the more I love it. I could just offer this right off the bat. It feels reasonable and in my case, with the damage, would have been much less expensive for both parties. I do home exchange a lot and we try hard to ensure everybody feels welcomed, comfortable, etc. and I’m trying to apply the same here. Anybody in my home is a valued guest/friend and somebody who will love my pets is not only a valued guest but somebody I want to take care of as much as they are taking care of us!


Totally agree. :blush:

There’s a very attractive 2-week sit in the US listed that says: We can provide our car for an $500/month to cover insurance, maintenance, etc.

What do you think of this? In the US, the car is insured for anyone who drives it. The owner is not paying any more for insurance while a sitter is driving it. I can see the owner asking for a security deposit in the event of an accident, but this sounds like a charge for “renting” their car. Incidentally, they seem like new HOs. There is no sitter feedback on the listing.

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We live in Michigan as well, and we do have different insurance laws here. We spend a month in Hawaii last year and were told by our insurance agent that if we were to have an accident in the HO’s car, their insurance would cover damage to their vehicle and our insurance would cover injuries to us and any liability for other vehicles/individuals. It’s complicated and I’m sure it would be a mess if an incident did occur, but our agent and theirs was comfortable with the arrangement and assured us we’d be covered.

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I’d be curious what it would cost to rent a car from a company in that area. From everything I’m reading in the forums, it’s a sitters market. I’d probably not bother to apply for that one. But I’m sure there are some who would.


Update: That listing went up a few hours ago and it now has 4-7 applicants.

Maybe the applicants aren’t planning on accepting the offer of the car. It would be interesting to know.

It’s still cheaper than a car rental so it might be attractive to some sitters.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the offer. It’s up to the sitters to accept or decline.

We would definitely consider it. A LOT cheaper than a car rental.

Yikes, just priced out a rental car (nothing fancy) for two weeks in AZ - $1500 CAD.

As many of you may already know, I’m a firm believer in using a listing headline to its best advantage. On a humorous note, here’s one I saw today:

Screen Shot 2022-07-02 at 9.50.39 AM

On a more practical note, although it may be funny, it’s also a reminder to check what you have added to the website - both owners and sitters - to make sure it displays as you had intended. This suggestion includes photos. If you use the app, also check how it displays there. It’s important to promote yourself in the best light.

OK sitters, don’t all rush to try and find this listing. :rofl: By the images below what I viewed, I’m pretty sure it’s a dog and a cat that want some company, not the car.

Volunteer Forum Moderator :canada:

I think the insurance depends on the state. In not all states does the insurance follow the car rahter than the driver. I know in Massachusetts anyone with a valid license can drive a car insured there, but that’s not the case in some states. Nevertheless, I think it’s absurd for a homeowner to ask that much to use their car, unless it’s a Lamborghini!

There are many replies in this thread but I haven’t noticed one major issue being mentioned. Please note we are HOs and sitters in the US.

Our sit is located in a walkable small town with groceries, restaurants, dentists, etc. nearby. We pick up and drop off sitters from the train station, which is only 1.5 miles away. There’s a county-wide public bus that runs all day and you can pick it up a half mile from our home. We’ve seen a sitter manage well without a car.

Getting back to why we don’t allow use of our cars: We do not have any idea what kind of driver the sitter is, what their accident record might be, and so on. Even though you can purchase a temporary insurance policy for a sitter, if there is an accident while the sitter is using our car, we are ultimately responsible for the cost of damage. Not the sitter.

With all that said, however, even if we would allow use of our car… They are all manual transmission! We are auto enthusiasts and for us, being able to shift for ourselves is part of the enjoyment of driving.

How many sitters know how to drive a manual transmission without grinding gears? We would LOVE to hear how many of you like to drive stick shift! :slight_smile:

Looking to the future, however, since we want to continue using sitters, maybe we need to rethink having only manual transmission cars? Because emergencies do happen.

What do you think?

@KenandMary1998 I was born in Wales and lived there until I was 19. Arriving in Canada, it was my first time seeing an automatic transmission car. Almost all vehicles were manual in Wales. I probably drove at least 20 years in Canada with a manual transmission, but finally gave into the convenience of automatic. I still enjoy driving a manual transmission. It’s my guess that manual transmission is still far more common in Europe than in North America.

In your situation, I see no reason why you couldn’t continue with the position that a car is not essential to do sits at your home. That relieves you of the concerns that ultimately come with loaning your car. Your offer to pick up and drop off certainly shows you are trying to accommodate your sitters.

I think it’s important to keep in mind that, regardless of how good a driver a person is, they are likely driving in an area that’s not familiar to them. Even with the deductible paid by the person using my vehicle, my insurance would still show one collision against my policy. I have one forgivable, but that would use that one up. If I truly had my first collision, my premium would increase significantly because it would appear to be my second one. On a sit I am reluctant to use a vehicle when offered, for all of the complications that can arise, if there was a collision.

In continental Europe almost everyone still drives with manual gears, I just completed driving school a couple of years ago and we didn’t even learn about automatic. So if you get a sitter from Europe there’s a good chance that he / she will be comfortable with manual gears. But given your location I don’t think a car is really necessary. Maybe some bikes would be appreciated. We sometimes buy second hand bikes for 50-80 USD for sits without bikes and then resell them.

I totally understand what you are saying and agree. I probably wouldn’t allow sitters to use my car either.

However, you would be hard pressed to find a sitter from the UK who doesn’t know how to use manual transmission. Every car rental we’ve had there is a standard. Automatics are so expensive. I’d venture a guess that more people in Europe/UK drive a standard than an automatic (but I don’t really know tbh.). We are spoiled here in North America. :rofl:

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It might be worthwhile for a sitter as long as the HO and sitter draw up an agreement with all the particulars. For example, as the “renting” party, I’d want to be sure that the HO would not then blame me for any and all wear and tear-related issues, e.g., someone opening a car door and putting a minor dent in the vehicle, or things that were there at the outset but they didn’t see/acknowledge.

I have borrowed HOs’ cars for a few sits but drove them minimally.

I just checked Enterprise in a few markets for September or October. $1,500/month.

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@Kelownagurl @KenandMary1998 I was curious about the UK and automatics too, and am surprised to see there has been a trend away from manual transmission.

@Snowbird @Kelownagurl In the US, of new cars built, only 3-5% have manual trans. It’s a sad trend, to us, anyway. As your article states, with the advent of electric cars, they are all automatic. So the end of manual trans is inevitable. :frowning: